I’ve received a very loving and concerned email from a good friend because of this week’s posts. 🙂 I did say from the outset that none of what I wrote would be a good measure of my deepest politics. Let me assure you all that I will not be ditching the whole of my Christian education, just because I’ve thrown a few seditious musings out here on the internet.
This started originally, not as an attempt to disprove a popular view of history, but as a quest to understand individual people of the times, and thus my characters, so that I can write fully in their perspective. And they would not, as my writing mentor so beautifully put it, portray truth with the accuracy that God would. Human history is largely limited by the perceptions of those who record it, and the telling of it shaded accordingly.
But in so doing–reading personal accounts of people who were there, and studying everything from living conditions here in the colonies to political statements made by those across the water–certain assumptions I held about this period of history have been called into question. My posts this week have been an overspill of processing through that.
I would, however, venture to assert that the faith of many Confederate leaders is far more than token church attendance and mere lipservice … a look at the writings of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson in particular show that these men held a deep and genuine trust in God. And as Elliot pointed out, George Washington and many of his contemporaries were truly reverent of their Creator, as well … even if they were not what we evangelicals would term “born again.”
And so, I never intended to disparage Christian education as a whole–I just wish we humans weren’t so prone to thinking our very existence is thrown into question if we dare to admit that our forefathers weren’t 100% correct in everything they did … it seems to me that is more the motivation behind a simplistic and whitewashed version of history, rather than some noble desire to spare young children the gory details.
Daniel, while in Babylon, regularly went before God in confession of personal and national sin–not for his generation only, I am sure, but for many that led up to the captivity of Israel. I do wonder whether we Americans don’t have more to answer for than we know–or are willing to admit.